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Sydney 5 April 2013. Brisk walking can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes just as much as running, according to new research.[1]


Scientists analysed studies of 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers with the findings reported in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.


Dr Lyn Roberts, CEO of the National Heart Foundation of Australia said being active on a regular basis is important for maintaining good heart health and Heart Foundation Walking groups are a perfect way to get active.


“Being active doesn’t have to involve running a marathon - brisk walking can be just as good for your heart health as running,” said Dr Roberts.


“The simple act of walking for 30 minutes on all or most days of the week can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as half – and gradually walking faster, further or for longer only increases the benefit.


"Walking on a regular basis also has many health benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, while also helping to maintain a healthy weight and control diabetes.


“More than half of the Australian adult population is not active enough to gain health benefits and being inactive is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease – the number one killer of both Australian men and women.


“To get the most from your walking work out, you need to walk fast enough to make you puff a bit but still hold a conversation.


“Heart Foundation Walking groups are perfect for people of all ages and fitness levels, but are especially good for people who aren’t currently active and want to change that,” she said.


Heart Foundation Walking has more than 1400 free groups that meet and walk regularly all over Australia. To join or start a local walking group near you call the Heart Foundation’s Health Information Service on 1300 36 27 87 or visit www.heartfoundation.org.au/walking.


Heart Foundation Walking is funded nationally by the Medibank Community Fund and the Australian Government, with state support from the QLD and ACT Governments.